If you grew up watching your dad do cool stuff in IT like Thomas Nash did, you might buy into data science early on. Or, you might just stumble into it. Either way, you’ll be getting involved in the country’s first undergraduate program in this rapidly developing field.
Thomas had no background in computer science when he first heard about the College’s data science program. Still, it grabbed him. “I enjoy math and problem solving and I love being around computers, so when I learned that this program combines those, I said ‘This sounds awesome. I can take this wherever I want. I can make the most of this.’”
Thomas took a programming class his first semester. “I was so nervous. I was thinking ‘how am I going to make it in a degree where I have no idea what I’m doing.’ But I realized that I could do this; I could learn new programming skills. I ended up loving that class, and discovered early on that this is what I want to do.”
These days, Thomas doesn’t just study data science, he’s contributing to the field as well. “I work in the College’s IT department as a student network engineer, and I also do research for the data science program, which focuses on developing and refining an open source software program called Learn2Mine. It’s essentially a data mining teaching tool that helps introduce students to data mining techniques.” His work has been partially supported by Boeing South Carolina, which named him a Boeing Scholar each of the past two years.
Along with two other students and a professor, Thomas went to New York City to present Learn2Mine at a conference. “We also visited several tech companies there as well, and came away with great insight into the industry. Because our professor is well connected, it was also an exceptional networking opportunity. Now, whether I go on to work in cybersecurity, the aerospace industry or for a local startup, I know I’ll have a strong background, and great support from my professors.”
Ours was the first undergraduate data science degree to be offered in the U.S. Our graduates are prepared for high-paying jobs and graduate programs, because the program teaches them how to use the tools and problem-solving skills of mathematics and computer science as a way to obtain information from large, multidimensional datasets, data streams and complex systems. Whether you plan to enter the workforce or pursue graduate degrees, this ground-breaking program will challenge you intellectually and prepare you to be a leader in the business of knowledge acquisition and knowledge management.
- Data Science integrates math and computing.
- You can choose from among 14 cognate disciplines from which to practice and learn.
- Data Science graduates obtain high starting salaries and prestigious grad school offers.
- Data Science majors enjoy a highly technical degree in a strong liberal arts and sciences setting.
- Faculty researchers compete to lure DI majors into their labs.
- Career opportunities are emerging in all areas of industry, government and business.
- Through Data Science, students can develop multiple academic strengths, not just one.